Big dog little dog..............
I have discovered an off-leash dog park near my home and I love to take my year old Yorkie there to play. It is not going as well as I would like.
When I first took her I knew that there would be an adjustment period so my "tough love" parenting style kicked in and I told her "we were coming every day for two weeks until you learned to like it!" She did okay with the smaller dogs, but as soon as the big dogs came over she would snap and bite at them and then cling tight to my leg. Anyone have any ideas about how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs?
Finally the day came when she met the right dog and they actually played together. I can't tell you how much joy this brought to my heart. I probably looked pretty foolish standing in the woods trying to snap pictures with my cell phone as they circled around one another, but this was a huge deal to me.
Why do I care that a strange dog likes my dog? Though it makes no rational sense what so ever the feelings really were akin to wanting my kids to have friends to play with when they were growing up. I want her to be liked by each and every dog she encounters so her self-esteem (not to mention mine) doesn't suffer.
Going to the dog park I get first hand experience of the idea that one is either a small dog person or a big dog person. Some big dog people can be rude to the point of commenting, "Come this way Duke. I am not in the mood to deal with a little yippie dog today." And this before Bekeeni even gets close enough to sniff Duke's ankle (His ankle being as high as her nose will reach). Most big dog people simply ignore us, as if we are not important enough to even comment on.
I can't decide which is worse!
Having said this, I have to confess that it is not my favorite thing to be approached by a soaking wet, sandy dog and have him/her shake out their coat and them proceed to jump up on my in greeting leaving muddy paw streaks behind. As I learned never to wear white around a toddler, I have learned never to wear clothes I care about to the dog park (like I really care about my clothes we're really talking about shoes here folks).
So are big and/or little dog people born that way or is it environmental? I maintain I am a little dog person because I have always had home businesses and it is much safer for a little dog to jump on someone than a big dog. Shouldn't all dogs be trained not to jump up on people (Ya! Right! That's never gonna happen around here, try as I might)? Truth be told, my belief is, "The bigger the dog, the bigger the mess." Shame on me... Something else for me to work on I guess. What about you? Do you have a preference? Why?